**ATTENTION: Changes to the Political Economy Major as of Fall 2012**
Important changes were made to the PE Major Requirements! As of Fall 2012, all newly declared PE students are required to create their own Self-Designed Concentration. The three Pre-Designed Concentration topics are no longer offered as an option for students who declare(d) Political Economy on or after Aug.16, 2012.
To find out more about these changes, please read our full PDF announcement , or come in to speak with an IAS advisor.
The Political Economy major examines the relationship between politics and economics in modern societies, focusing on problems of both domestic and international policy. The curriculum is both multi- and interdisciplinary and is based on the assumption that political-economic relationships are affected by society, culture, geography, and demographics.
Contemporary problems form the central focus of the major, although a strong historical perspective is emphasized. Students can choose to study planning and problem solving, environmental issues, resource distribution, and the challenges of institutional adaptation, value innovation, and changing political systems.
Some of the questions addressed in the major include:
- the tension between rising consumer demand versus the need to minimize resource depletion and pollution;
- the different priorities served by capitalist, socialist, and traditionalist varieties of political economy;
- the different priorities served by democratic and authoritarian political systems;
- how interdependence may undermine the efforts of national governments to cope with urgent national issues such as unemployment, inflation, health, and housing.
- the importance of organizational structures for policy-making in both the public and private sectors.